Tag Archives: media

AT&T Uverse Wants Us To Watch The Today Show

I’ve generally been happy with AT&T Uverse once our nightmarish installation experience was resolved but this morning every Uverse customer had their channels force-changed to The Today Show as an “emergency alert” blared but there is no emergency.

The angry Tweets from viewers are just hilarious.

UPDATE: confirmed that this affects Uverse customers nationwide, there is no emergency, and it’s AT&T’s fault.

UPDATE 2: The thing that’s pissing me off about this is that AT&T and even some news reporting are trying to make it sound like we merely had to put up with an emergency alert message. And yes, that’s bad: as freaked out as this nation is right now about ISIS and EBOLA and (fill in the blank)-ghazi, that’s not cool. But what no one is talking about is the fact that our televisions were hijacked! They literally took control of our TVs. They changed everybody’s channel to the local NBC affiliate and we were unable to control our televisions. I couldn’t even change the damn volume.

That is some messed up Big Brother shit right there, on a par with Apple forcing you to own a U2 album or Amazon entering your Kindle to take back a book you’d bought because of a copyright issue.

Corporate America is overstepping its bounds and infringing on the private lives of consumers. Again.

Update 3: FCC is investigating the hijacking of private televisions:

ATLANTA, Ga. — AT&T U-verse customers in several states woke up Friday morning to find a federal emergency alert on TV. The problem is, there was no emergency and the alert somehow hijacked their TV’s, refusing to allow them to change the channel.

Alan Sams, who has his phone and internet service bundled through AT&T says he couldn’t use the internet or his phone either.

“I’m more concerned that somebody on the inside of AT&T has the capacity to deal with shutting off my communications and controlling my communications, even if it was for a short period of time,” said Sams.

AT&T is still trying to figure out exactly what happened, but says the alert should not have impacted anything but television service.

In a statement released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the agency said the problem started when an unidentified nationally syndicated radio show inappropriately broadcast the emergency signal. AT&T says it and a few other providers picked it up.

AT&T declined to answer questions about how decisions are made whether to air an emergency alert and why it took several hours to get it removed. The company also could not explain why customers were unable to change the channel.

FEMA has yet to say how many states were affected, but 11Alive saw complaints on social media from viewers in at least six states: Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Michigan, Arkansas and Texas.

“Who’s controlling, who’s watching the traffic?” questioned security analyst Greg Evans, who is also a U-verse customer. As the morning rolled on, Evans began to question whether the system had been hacked.

“Anything electronic you can hack into it. If it has an internet IP address, you can hack into it,” said Evans.

AT&T insists its system was not hacked. Instead FEMA says several providers aired an emergency alert, inappropriately played by a nationally syndicated radio show. AT&T can’t say why the alert hijacked their customers TV’s, and insists the alert shouldn’t have affected phone service.

The FCC says it will also investigate the incident.

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Filed under AT&T, corporate overlords, media

Clinton Derangement Syndrome

It just never stops:

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Eagerly await the next round of hand-wringing from other NewsCorp outlets about the lack of civility in today’s discourse.

8 Comments

Filed under Media, NewsCorp

More Follow-Up Questions, Please

This is why I watch Aljazeera America:

Ah, those pesky “follow-up questions.” Don’t see them too often from the likes of Chuck Todd or David Gregory.

The fact of the matter is, when you ask the follow-up questions it becomes apparent that Republicans are not only legislating shit they don’t understand, they’re legislating shit they never bothered to think about. “Why would a woman want to get an abortion?” “Well gee now, I’ve never thought about that …”

Maybe you should, asshole. This should be asked of every anti-choice politician. If they can’t answer it they need to get to the end of the line.

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Filed under abortion, feminism, media, Republican Party, women's rights

Did GA’s Liberal Gun Laws Enable A Hate Crime?

Starting to look that way:

Araim, who was Muslim, and her three female companions were wearing hijab, the traditional Islamic head covering that symbolizes modesty for women in public, her nephew, Omar Araim, said Monday.

Whether Lampien saw Araim and the other women before the shooting was not clear. Neither the Helen police nor the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which took over the case Sunday, responded to requests for information Monday. The Helen police deleted information about the shooting posted Sunday on the department’s Facebook page.

Information is still sketchy at this point. But it explains why Lampien was charged with involuntary manslaughter. Usually these things are written off as “tragic accidents.”

It would be nice to get a little national attention to this case. The scrutiny afforded by the glare of a national spotlight would help make sure the investigation is thorough and nothing is being swept under the rug.

Of course, our national news media is unable to walk and chew gum at the same time, and right now they’re focused solely on Ferguson, Mo.

And yes, it’s really hard for the gun loons to defend these liberal “guns everywhere” laws, when someone can potentially use them to perpetrate a hate crime. More guns = more shootings. Plain and simple.

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Filed under gun control, media

The Battle Of The Editorial Page

The Kansas City Star‘s editorial page editor learned the hard way that the Heritage Foundation is not a real think tank but rather a conservative talking point factory populated by charlatans and cranks. She won’t be publishing any more editorials from Heritage nitwit Stephen Moore, but I hope she takes a closer look at everything else coming out of that shady outfit, too.

The link has the deets, but in a nutshell, Moore submitted a piece rebutting a Paul Krugman piece about the sorry state of the Kansas economy ever since Gov. Numnutz decided slashing taxes would create an economic boom. It didn’t — it never does — but Moore begged to differ, offering a piece full of recycled supply-side ideas and cooked with some incorrect statistics.

As an aside, I really don’t get people like Stephen Moore. He’s writing a piece where he has to fudge his data to make his point work (and he didn’t even do that correctly), yet he’s still going to the mat on a discredited economic theory? Again: he can’t make the theory work without fudging the numbers and he’s still spouting it? Who does that? Not a real economist, but a fraud. How does someone like that look themselves in the mirror every day? What a pathetic loser.

Anyway, as the CJR pointed out, the blame rests on the newspaper, not the propagandist:

Of course, the responsibility here is not Moore’s alone. As Silverman says, “each of these outlets bear responsibility for the op-eds they publish. There are so few stats in this piece that it would seem reasonable to expect someone on the op-ed page to check them before accepting the column. That would have prevented this issue.”

Pepper acknowledges this responsibility. “We did not factcheck his BLS figures that we found out later were incorrect, and that was a failure on our part,” she says.

Indeed. This whole scenario reminds me of our own Gannett fishwrap, The Tennessean, which repeatedly ran op-eds from the corporate sockpuppets at Rick Berman’s House of Propaganda. For some reason newspaper editors seem to be the last to get the memo that conservatives are using the media to advance their political agenda. As with Stephen Moore, they either know it and don’t care, or they’ve drunk so much “two sides to every story” Kool-ade that they’ve forgotten their first job is accuracy.

Anyway, score a point for the Kansas City Star, at least. One fewer paper publishing one right-winger’s bullshit. At this rate our media will be cleaned up around the time the very last newspaper folds.

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Filed under media

The Market Has Spoken

I do not for the life of me understand why cable news outfits (cough*cough*MSNBC*cough*cough) continue to bring Ken Pollack on to discuss Iraq. Do they not understand what fools this makes them?

Pollack, of course, famously wrote the 2002 book, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq:

Examining all sides of the debate and bringing a keen eye to the military and geopolitical forces at work, Pollack ultimately comes to this controversial conclusion: through our own mistakes, the perfidy of others, and Saddam’s cunning, the United States is left with few good policy options regarding Iraq. Increasingly, the option that makes the most sense is for the United States to launch a full-scale invasion, eradicate Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, and rebuild Iraq as a prosperous and stable society—for the good of the United States, the Iraqi people, and the entire region.

Hmm, yes, that went well, didn’t it. BTW, you can buy the book on Amazon now for a whopping 0.01:

pollack2

The market has spoken.

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Filed under Iraq War, media, MSNBC

Can CNN Be Saved?

Oh, CNN. Whatever happened to our cable news pioneer? Now the once groundbreaking news channel has been relegated to trolling for page views with unbelievably offensive stories like this one:

CNN

Can the Klan rebrand? Seriously? This is a question you needed to ask marketing experts? Why? This takes CNN’s “both sides of the story” ruse to new heights.

I grabbed a screen shot because I felt sure the story would get pulled. From the link:

Ancona, who lives in Missouri, insists there’s a new Klan for modern times — a Klan that’s “about educating people to our ideas and getting people to see our point of view to … help change things.”

He said he and those like him can spread that message without violence — a sort of rebranding of the Klan.

The idea may sound absurd, but is it conceivable?

No, say top marketing experts, brand gurus and historians — and for many reasons.

The Klan could change its name, get a smooth-talking spokesperson, replace the robes with suits and take off those ridiculous hats, but underneath, people would recognize its message is the same.

Just, stop right there. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea that CNN’s reporters actually asked marketing experts whether a reviled hate group can rebrand — you know, way to legitimize the group’s existence in the first place, guys!

Why not just ask, is there a way to make anti-Semitism more palatable? Is there an upside to White power? Should we bring back town square lynchings? I mean, for crissakes. That’s what you idiots are really asking. There are not two sides to racism and bigotry!

Here’s a thought. Has CNN, recently mocked on SNL for its ridiculous missing airplane coverage, outlived its usefulness? Is there any point to its existence? Is it time to pull the plug?

Guys: this should be obvious, but you don’t rebrand a hate group. It’s sorta by definition un-rebrandable. Kinda surprised you asked the question in the first place.

[UPDATE]:

Story was not pulled, but by Monday morning the headline had been tweaked:

CNN3

The content of the story is the same, i.e., the question asked of marketing experts was not, can this Klan leader rebrand, but can the Klan itself rebrand.

Again: No.

SASQ.

{dusts off hands, removes CNN from channel list … }

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Filed under CNN, media